It’s a lighter than normal weekend for major events in the Wilmington area, which is to be expected after a long, action-packed 4th of July holiday weekend.
That said, two musicals open downtown, and we also have our usual complement of comedy and fun gigs to choose from. Plus, there’s a really cool zine and comic book festival happening at a Wilmington beer hall on Sunday.
For even more ideas of things to do this weekend, check out our list of outdoor summer concerts in the area (link below), as not all shows happening this weekend are listed here.
If you’re looking for events in Brunswick County, be sure to check out Cheryl Whitaker’s weekly roundup of things to do in Brunswick towns and beaches.
After:Complete list of outdoor summer concerts in Wilmington, as well as Brunswick and Pender counties
After:Old Town Community Summer Party, plus 9 other events happening in Brunswick this week
THE WHOLE WEEKEND
At Thalian Hall: Wilmington’s Opera House Theater Co. brings this crowd-pleasing musical to the main stage of Thalian Hall just in time for those scorching ‘summer nights’. Mathis Turner stars as bad boy Danny Zuko, Wilmington newcomer Stephanie Prestage plays the sweet, innocent Sandy Dumbrowski and a great cast and chorus will bring the summer heat to famous tunes such as “Greased Lightnin'”, “We Go Together” and the title track.
Opera vet Jason Aycock directs and co-choreographs with Erin Sullivan, who is a veteran of multiple Broadway tours. Speaking of Broadway, musical director (and cast member) Brian Whitted also has Broadway experience, having served in the orchestra of the hit “Chicago” for more than a decade.
After:The Wilmington Pianist: Brian Whitted Brings Broadway Talent to North Carolina
7.30pm 7-9, 14-16 and 21-23 July; 2 p.m. on July 10, 17 and 24. Tickets are $32 plus fees. 910-632-2285.
At the Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center: Thalian Association Community Theater presents this military-themed musical on a stage in a building that once housed service members during a former life as a USO.
Based on the 1991 film, and featuring songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“Dear Evan Hanson”), it’s about three young Marines preparing to deploy to Southeast Asia in 1963, the first days of the conflict in Vietnam. But when Corporal Eddie Birdlace (Logan Mack) meets waitress Rose (Sydney Smith Martin, who starred as Marilyn Monroe in a one-woman show at Thalian Hall earlier this year) on the Marines’ final night in United States, things get complicated.
“The music is absolutely breathtaking,” said Chandler Davis, artistic director of the Thalian Association, in a press release. “It’s also always a pleasure to bring plays featuring the military to a venue with such a rich military history as Hannah Block’s historic USO.”
Cathy Street conducts, with musical direction from Randy Craft. The Thalians advise that the show contains mature language and subject matter, as well as simulated gunfire. 7:30 p.m. July 8-9 and 14-16, 2:10 p.m. and July 17. $25. 910-251-1788.
At Dead Crow Comedy Room: That this New York comedian has a special (and a comedy album) called “Nervous Lover” tells you a lot about his self-deprecating style, which also makes him poke fun at his financial insecurity. (“My best financial year is still my bar mitzvah. You shouldn’t peak financially at 13, not a good look.”)
Neumann, who has a two-night adventure in Dead Crow this weekend, debuted on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ earlier this year, during which he joked about having a mother. overprotective and traumatized after being dumped in fifth grade. . 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. July 8-9, $18-$28.
At the Ocean Grill & Tiki Bar: Led by married couple Shaun and Shaylah Paul, this rock and pop band has a reputation as one of Wilmington’s most powerful live bands thanks to such catchy songs and exuberant than “Radio Waves”.
All in all, it’s a mix of girl group vibes, twisted guitar solos, poppy hooks and amped up riffs in service to a series of rock ‘n’ roll love songs. 7-9pm July 7 free.
After:Rock band Kicking Bird emerges from pandemic as one of Wilmington’s most powerful live bands
comedy at the kettle
At The Kettle: Some of Wilmington’s best comics fill the bill for this monthly showcase, which takes place in a bottle shop overlooking (looking sideways?) the pines of Long Leaf Park. Hosted by Port City Top Comic Contest runner-up Ellie Coleman, this month’s Kettle of Comedians features Bridget Callahan, Jarrod Fortune, Lex Hunt and Omar Zamorano. 8 p.m. show, $5 cover.
Friday night live
At the Port City Marina Pier: Headlining this series of free, bi-monthly outdoor concerts in downtown Wilmington is The Breakfast Club, a 1980s tribute band that has been playing in the Wilmington area for the 90’s. 7pm-10pm, free, reductions available.
Color temperature, Lauds
At Reggie’s 4th Street Tavern: Two of Wilmington’s top bands headline this multi-act bill at downtown rock club Reggie’s. Color Temperature is the indie rock project of Ross Page, who plays in several Wilmington bands (including Lauds) and whose recent album “Me Talk Pretty” is a collection of chamber pop songs with adventurous sound, intriguing lyrics and superbly designed.
Lauds plays a brand of reverberant dream pop, as heard on a pair of recent self-titled EPs. Also on the bill are two Connecticut power-pop bands, Dr. Martino and Big Fang. 8 p.m. July 9, covered at the door.
After:With a new album and a rising Spotify profile, Wilmington band Color Temperature are heating up
After:Wilmington dream pop group Lauds combine their retro sound with a modern, moody world on a new EP
Bring out your dead
At the Palm Room: A Grateful Dead cover band whose name is also a Monty Python reference? I don’t know how you could go wrong there. This North Carolina-based tribute act will hold court at longtime Wrightsville Beach bar, The Palm Room, playing everything from “Uncle John’s Band” to “Touch of Grey.” 10 p.m. July 9, $10.
Stone Soup Zine Fest
At Hi-Wire Brewing: Self-published zines have been around for decades, peaking in the 1990s and losing popularity with the advent of the internet and, later, social media. But it’s hard to keep a good art form going, and there have always been individuals and micro-publishers who have kept zines alive. On Sunday, Wilmington’s own Milk & Honey Comics presents this gathering of more than two dozen zine and comic book creators from across the country, including Wilmington.
At its core, says Milk & Honey creator and event planner Giancarlo D’Alessandro, it’s about celebrating small presses and independent comics. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 10, free.
Contact John Staton at 910-343-2343 or [email protected]